During the stay of our German exchange student, he had the oppurtunity to talk to us about how his country handles the issue of drinking. He was surprised to hear that while I was of legal age to drink, I had not availed myself to that particular right.
It was several months before we ever heard that the exchange had needed a home. Just returning from a trip I had not gone on, my little brother told me that the night before my dad, my uncle, and my oldest cousin on that side of the family had gone drinking and returned quite drunk. So unusually drunk, in fact, that my father had to take baby steps to get where he was going and he couldn’t walk straight.
All my life, my dad has always had one or two cans of beer a night and hasn’t been much of a problem. It was common for him to pick up a twenty-four or thirty pack for a weekend trip. Now that he has moved down here and feels it neccessary to keep up with his drinking buddy who weighs a hundred pounds more than he, a certain problem has developed. He has drunk himself to the point of crankiness. He’s cranky once he has had one too many and he’s all the more cranky when he hasn’t had a drink in awhile.
Biblically speaking, it’s his right to drink. (Since he was raised Christian, I’m going to assume he is one.) Believers have the freedom to drink, hey, even Jesus was known party and drink, moreso from the fact that water could be a hazzard, but He did know how to have a good time. That said, believers don’t have the freedom to wound another brother’s faith, particularly if his weakness or vice was drinking alcohol. A strong case can be made that my uncles’ marriages’ failed because of their drunken states.
The reason I won’t drink is because of my dad. When he’s had a few beers, he finds all sorts of little things to complain about. His uncanny ability to say the worst possible thing at the worst possible time gets worse. The t.v. is on closed captioning, the t.v. is beeping, that t.v. show is unacceptable, the coffee isn’t done, the dishes aren’t done, the laundry isn’t done, etc. without taking in any consideration for the fact that he is perfectly able to get the coffee going, to do even a single load of dishes or laundry or any other chore. Nope, he complains about it, we’re supposed to get it done. Should we suggest that while we’re busy he take care of something, he complains about that too.
When I was little and my sister and I would get into a fight, all my dad would do is get a beer and drink it outside. I really needed him to send my sister to her room or something. I don’t care if the right to drink alcohol is a rite of passage, drinking alcohol changes you. It temporarily takes away some inhibitions now and over time it acts much the same way as any other addictive substance.
He’s my dad and I love him. Compared to his father, he is a vast improvement. However, he is a totally different person with a beer in his hand. A person I don’t like and a person I have to put up with. I just want the dad he used to be back.